Teacher prep programs not on the same page as Wisconsin’s new reading law

Corrinne Hess:

But data shows that most teacher education programs at colleges and universities are still not fully teaching the science of reading. 

Instead of learning how to read through pictures, word cues and memorization, children will be taught using a phonics-based method that focuses on sounding out letters and phrases, with the hope of addressing the state’s lagging reading scores. 

Wisconsin’s new reading law doesn’t explicitly tell the universities how to teach. But it will prohibit the Department of Public Instruction from approving teacher education programs unless they include science-based early literacy instruction and do not incorporate three-cueing — a model that emphasizes that skilled reading should include using meaning and sentence structure cues to read new words.    

Wisconsin teachers who do not receive this training will not be eligible for a license beginning July 1, 2026.  

“I do believe that the universities have been one of the major causes of the problems we see in reading,” said State Rep. Joel Kitchens, R- Sturgeon Bay, one of the lead authors on the reading legislation. “They now seem to be moving in the right direction, but change is hard.”


“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

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